Lehman College Home

Daily Updates: Saturday, September 02, 2006 - Afternoon Session

Hiroshima, Japan -  As reported by Jeniffer Herrera and Monique McPherson of Lehman College.

For the afternoon session, more than 100 students gathered at the Hiroshima International Convention Center, along with other participants of the conference, to hear 1997 Nobel Peace Laureate Jody William’s message of peace.

Japanese students asked questions in regards to education of peace and discussed the politics and processes of spreading peace across the world. They also discussed the differences of youth consciousness in Hiroshima versus other parts of Japan and the world.

Professor Williams spoke of, Ivan Suvanjieff, a punk rock musician from Colorado who created an organization called Peace Jam after realizing that the inspiration of local gangsters were figures such as the Dalai Lama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu.

Suvanjieff then thought that if these youngsters gathered with powerful and peaceful people, they could understand that their ideas were also important and eventually they too could become leaders and change the world for the better.

Professor Williams also introduced Dr. Shirin Ebadi, 2003 Nobel Peace Laureate, to the students saying that she continues to fight for her people despite death treats and incarceration. “She does it without weapons,” said Williams. “And that, it’s brave.”

A good number of Japanese students presented their ideas and questions about bringing change and sustainable peace to the world.

In a later session, Dr. Ebadi presented a brief lecture regarding Human Rights not only in Iran, but also around the world. Ebadi also talked about her latest book “Iran Awakening: Memoir of Revolution and Hope,” which due to U.S. economic sanctions toward Iran could have prohibited from being published in the U.S. By confronting the U.S government instead of being compliant, Ebadi opened the doors not only for Iranians, but also for Cubans and the Sudan to publish their work in the US without going through sanctions or unnecessary hurdles.

“When I look at my life, I think my destiny is to fight governments of the world,” said Ebadi. “The United States is no exception.”

Ebadi finalized her lecture accepting questions from the audience and signing copies of her book, which reflects her life as a woman in Iran.

Attendees concluded today’s session by enjoying cultural events performed by the children of Hiroshima at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.